Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The Sovereign Queen

Richard Barnfield (1574-1620), "The Prayse of Lady Pecunia," lines 91-114:
But now vnto her Praise I will proceede,
Which is as ample, as the Worlde is wide:
What great Contentment doth her Pressence breede
In him, that can his wealth with Wysdome guide?
  She is the Soueraigne Queene, of all Delights:
  For her the Lawyer pleades; the Souldier fights.

For her, the Merchant venters on the Seas:
For her, the Scholler studdies at his Booke:
For her, the Vsurer (with greater ease)
For sillie fishes, layes a siluer hooke:
  For her, the Townsman leaues the Countrey Village:
  For her, the Plowman giues himselfe to Tillage.

For her, the Gentlemen doeth raise his rents:
For her, the Seruingman attends his maister:
For her, the curious head new toyes inuents:
For her, to Sores, the Surgeon layes his plaister.
  In fine for her, each man in his Vocation,
  Applies himselfe, in euerie sev'rall Nation.

What can thy hart desire, but thou mayst haue it,
If thou hast readie money to disburse?
Then thanke thy Fortune, that so freely gaue it;
For of all friends, the surest is thy purse.
  Friends may proue false, and leaue thee in thy need;
  But still thy Purse will bee thy friend indeed.
See also Barnfield's "The Combat, betweene Conscience and Couetousnesse, in the Mind of Man," lines 29-38 (Covetousness speaking):
The greatest Princes are my followars,
The King in Peace, the Captaine in the Warres:
The Courtier, and the simple Countrey-man;
The Iudge, the Merchant, and the Gentleman;
The learned Lawyer, and the Politician:
The skilfull Surgeon, and the fine Physician:
In briefe, all sortes of men mee entertaine,
And hold mee, as their Soules sole Soueraigne,
And in my quarrell they will fight and die,
Rather then I should suffer iniurie.
Otto van Veen (1556-1629), aka Otto Vaenius, Quinti Horatii Flacci Emblemata (Antwerp: Philip Lisaert, 1612), p. 125 ("Pecuniae obediunt omnia"):

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